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Jon Berg & Geoff Johns talk lessons learned from BVS & Suicide Squad

06.20.2017

WONDER WOMAN is bringing in the combined buckets of money and praise the DC Extended Universe sorely needs, and as a result people are wondering if this means a trajectory change from the darker style BATMAN V. SUPERMAN and SUICIDE SQUAD had, two movies that received critical lashings. Though the game plan hasn’t changed much, there are still lessons being learned from the critically panned hits.

Warner Bros. co-president of production Jon Berg and DC president Geoff Johns spoke with Variety recently and were asked if anything was learned from the poor reception BVS and SS were met with, and it seems both have had some time to mull the movies over:

Berg: There are lessons from every movie. You would be silly not to analyze how a movie was received — what went right and what went wrong on the making of a movie.
On SUICIDE SQUAD the movie did incredibly well commercially. It didn’t work narratively. You had some great casting and some great characterizations, but where the story fell down was on narrative, on plot. We could do better. BATMAN V. SUPERMAN was tonally dark. People didn’t respond to that.
Johns: WONDER WOMAN celebrated exactly who the character is, but looking at it, it’s not like we should change everything to be about hope and optimism. There’s nothing to change. That’s what these characters are.

WOMAN is being praised for hopeful message and adventurous spirit, which is something Johns and Berg believe is what’s making the movie such a hit with audiences, and what BVS and SS were lacking:

Berg: It’s a fun movie. It’s positive and optimistic. The early films may have been too dark in parts.
Johns: Most of the DC Universe is known as being a hopeful and optimistic place. It’s known for characters that are inspirational and aspirational. Anyone who knows and loves the DC Universe knows that a lot of that has to do with its hope and optimism.

Change may not be the operative word the two are using, but the future is certainly looking very female in the DCEU, as the studio continues to develop their BATGIRL movie with Joss Whedon, while Johns says he and Patty Jenkins are working hard on the treatment for WONDER WOMAN 2:

Johns: Patty and I are writing the treatment right now. The goal is to make another great WONDER WOMAN film. I had a blast making it with Patty the first time. We’ve got a cool idea for the second one.

WOMAN is certainly the best film in DCEU by far, but to say future movies need to be similarly bright and optimistic in tone is probably not the best solution to the series’ quality problems. I think Johns and Berg have the right idea on what the problems were with BVS and SS, namely clunky narratives and just a general somber feeling, particularly in BVS. The movies can still be mature and grounded, but they also need to be more organized and focused. At this point talking about the two movies is like beating a dead Superman, but now that WONDER WOMAN proved so successful by being so different it’s more relevant than ever now to talk about how these movies can stay true to their characters’ style while not sacrificing quality. Plus, who are we kidding? People are going to be talking about these movies forever.

WONDER WOMAN is in theaters now, and JUSTICE LEAGUE arrives November 17.

Source: Variety

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